Mission Statement

In his preface to Sifting and Winnowing, Theodor Herfurth wrote in 1948:

“Bascom Hall is the citadel of power of the University of Wisconsin. In this building the Regents of the University officially convene. Theirs is the prerogative and the responsibility to establish, to defend, and to preserve the spiritual, the ethical, and the cultural values which comprise the essence of a great university. Securely riveted to the wall in the loggia, immediately to the left of the main entrance, is a tablet cast in enduring bronze. In picturesque language the tablet heralds to the world that the University of Wisconsin is permanently dedicated to the principle of academic freedom. By reason of its location the plaque extends a greeting and flings a pertinent challenge to university officials and to the multitudes who enter Bascom Hall by its main portal. The tablet proclaims:

“WHATEVER MAY BE THE LIMITATIONS WHICH TRAMMEL INQUIRY ELSEWHERE, WE BELIEVE THAT THE GREAT STATE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SHOULD EVER ENCOURAGE THAT CONTINUAL AND FEARLESS SIFTING AND WINNOWING BY WHICH ALONE THE TRUTH CAN BE FOUND.”

In the spirit of the above proclamation, this site is dedicated to promoting and, where necessary, vigorously defending the ideals and principles that have made the University of Wisconsin great. These include, among others, academic freedom, shared faculty/staff/student governance, and the Wisconsin Idea.

We therefore offer this independent forum for the publication and discussion of news and opinion relevant specifically to the administration and governance of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We believe that it addresses a need that clearly has not been met, and cannot be adequately met, by the two student dailies, the two city dailies, the Isthmus, or the University’s Wisconsin Week. Your active participation in the discussions hosted here will either prove or disprove that presumption.

Apart from the ideals already cited, there is no hidden agenda. We will feature contributions from across the spectrum of viewpoints, provided only that the tone is constructive and that the author has made a reasonable effort to fact-check the article before posting.

There is also no profit motive. We will accept no paid advertising and impose no subscription fees. By default, the minor expenses of running this site will be borne by those who created it. Those who wish to help defray expenses may do so with a non-tax-deductible donation.

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